Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number 4

Alex Pettyfer

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker and Beastly star Alex Pettyfer is in talks to play the lead character in Dreamworks’ Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg-produced D.J. Caruso-directed teen sci-fi alien adaptation I Am Number 4.

The screenplay adaptation was written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, which kind of makes sense if you think about it (teenage aliens that fall from space to earth?). Caruso is of course the director responsible for Taking Lives, The Salton Sea, Two for the Money and more recently, Disturbia and Eagle Eye. Bay has previously been developing the project as a potential directing gig.
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Director D.J. Caruso has come a long way since his days of directing television shows like VR 5, Martial Law, and most notably, The Shield. His latest feature, Eagle Eye, was such a complete mess of a film (reviewed here on the /Filmcast) that it made me dread any potential project that he was attached to for some time. Now THR’s Heat Vision blog is reporting that Caruso is attached to direct an adaptation of James Frey (he of the A Million Little Pieces scandal) and Joby Hughe’s upcoming young adult sci-fi novel, I Am Number Four.

The plot centers around “a group of nine aliens who escaped their home planet just before it was annihilated by a rival species. Hiding out on Earth, the title character disguises himself as a human high schooler, only to discover he is being hunted still by his planet’s enemy.” The script comes courtesy of Al Gough and Miles Millar, creators of TV’s Smallville.

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Chris Pine‘s pre-Star Trek film Carriers may have been dumped into a few theatres post-Star Trek, but hopefully his real post-Trek stuff will be more interesting and fare better with studio marketing departments. He’s already got Unstoppable in production, and now he’s part of a deal to fast-track a counterfeiting film called The Art of Making Money at Paramount.   Read More »


Games publisher EA and Temple Hill Entertainment (which has a hand in the Gears of War film adaptation) have been working to set up a film version of the horror / sci-fi game Dead Space. Now Variety has announced the director: Disturbia and Eagle Eye‘s DJ Caruso. The game had strong film overtones; you couldn’t play through without detecting obvious strains of Alien, Solaris and quite a few other influences. What direction will a film based on a game that is heavily indebted to film take? Read More »


For the last couple years, director DJ Caruso and his Disturbia and Eagle Eye star Shia LaBeouf were talking about adapting Brian K Vaughn‘s post-apocalyptic series Y: The Last Man. It was an ambitious plan, which could have led to multiple films tackling the bulk of the sixty-issue series. Then, while promoting Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, LaBeouf said he was backing away from Y because the character was too much like his Transformers character. But now, because rising stars almost never say they’ll never do a project, LaBeouf says it could still happen. Read More »

shia in y: the last man

In a day of superhero overload, Brian K Vaughn‘s Y: The Last Man is the perfect comic book series for a Hollywood big screen (or even small screen) adaptation. If you haven’t yet read the series, pick up the paperback (or the new hardcover) of the first volume, as I very highly recommend it.

Disturbia director DJ Caruso has been trying to get the project off the ground for a few years now, and Caruso’s frequent star Shia LaBeouf was interested in starring in a film adaptation. A script was in development, the first in a reported trilogy of adaptations — a potential franchise. But as time has passed, so has Shia’s interest. The Transformers star now tells Wizard Magazine that he’s not currently willing to make the film, and he may be too old for the role by the time that the project does get greenlit.

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Masi Oka, Heroes star and big World of Warcraft fan, has come up with a story called The Defenders, about gamers who have to become real-world heroes, and Dreamworks has bought it. The project will be produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, and DJ Caruso is in talks to direct. (He last directed the Kurtzman/Orci produced Eagle Eye.) How do you make a multiplayer game-inspired movie that isn’t just a vague rehash of The Last Starfighter and Ender’s Game? Answer after the jump.

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D.J. Caruso To Direct Jack the Giant Killer

I’ve always been a huge fan of director D.J. Caruso, despite his recent misfire with Eagle Eye (you can hear an interview I did with him by clicking here). The man has loads of talent and has worked extensively and admirably in both the TV and film industries. His skill has won him a fruitful partnership with Steven Spielberg.  More importantly, a lot of his work centers around properties with sci-fi concepts, and we can always used more skilled people taking on that genre.

According to Variety, Caruso is now set to direct Jack the Giant Killer, and “adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend.” The script was written by Lost (the indie film, not the TV show) scribe Darren Lemke, with a re-write by Mark Bomback.  The original “Jack and the Beanstalk” fairy tale centered around a boy who exchanged a cow for magical beans. After the beans grew into a gigantic beanstalk, Jack climbed it to find a huge house with a giant living inside it, which Jack then began to pilfer. The story ends with Jack killing the giant in self-defense, kind of. A variation on the story, “Jack the Giant Killer,” has Jack venturing into a land of giants and slaying them in increasingly gruesome ways. The new film sounds like it will be some combination of the two. Variety’s plot summary is as follows:

When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.

I much prefer “adult” takes on these classic stories, as I think there’s huge potential to mine them for deeper themes and, in this case probably, action. Plus, any film that shows fairy tale icons for the true bloodthirsty killers they are gets an A in my book.

Discuss: Would you see an adult-oriented take on Jack and the Beanstalk? Which fairy tale adaptations geared towards adults have you enjoyed in the past?

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